Planning the Reception
The wedding reception is most likely the biggest and most expensive party you will ever plan. It is the ultimate celebration of a glorious event in your life. Deciding between an informal cocktail hour or a plated dinner is only part of the story; there is more to the reception than just the meal.
What Happens When
What happens at the reception? A wedding reception has three basic parts to it: cocktail hour, meal service, and dancing. The cocktail hour is the first item of business; guests arrive at the reception site and are greeted with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments, while the couple and wedding party finish up with their photos. At the conclusion of the cocktail hour, the guests are escorted into dinner for the grand entrance, the best man's toast, and the meal service. Once the meal is complete, dancing begins and the party really starts. More than likely there will be formal protocol dancing and then the guests will be invited to join in. The cake is cut and the bouquet and garter are tossed.
Timing is everything. Delayed ceremonies beget delayed photography beget a delayed grand entrance beget a delayed meal. Not only will all of these delays upset the guests, but it will affect the quality of food and the flow or your reception.
What is a typical order of events at a wedding reception? There are many variations in timelines for modern weddings, all dependent upon individual circumstances. The following is a basic outline for the order of events at a reception. (For more information on the specifics of each tradition, see Chapter 14). You can work with your wedding planner, location manager, and musical entertainment to personalize your timeline.
Welcome or blessing
Best man's toast
Wedding party dance
Bride and groom toast
Garter and bouquet toss